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LA County courthouses to close due to massive budget shortfall

November 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Nearly a dozen courthouses in Los Angeles County could be forced to close in the coming months. It's all due to a massive budget shortfall that could lead to a number of layoffs and delays throughout the court system.

The Los Angeles Superior Court has to slash $80 million from its budget. State funding is coming up short, putting jobs in jeopardy.

Some lawyers say cases are already back-logged within the Los Angeles County court system, and they can't imagine things getting any worse.

"As an attorney, I look at getting a trial date in excess of over a year. What that does is, it causes problems with the litigants actually getting to trial and having their cases evaluated," said lawyer Britton Galang.

Affected courthouses include: Beverly Hills, Huntington Park, Whittier, Pomona North, Malibu, West Los Angeles, San Pedro, the Beacon Street location in Long Beach, Catalina and Canyon Juvenile Justice Facility.

The plan is to close all the courtrooms in these 10 regional courthouses. The courthouses themselves, however, will remain open for matters such as paying traffic tickets.

According to court officials, not only will the closures delay trials and cause longer lines, but cases will be reassigned to other court houses as much as 35 miles away.

The last time the Los Angeles Superior Court made cuts like these, there were major protests. More than 300 people were laid off in 2010, and 150 this past June.

The current wave of closures and layoffs is expected to happen before June 2013.


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